How Big is Walt Disney World® Resort Compared to Disneyland?
When guests arrive at Walt Disney World® Resort, it is hard to contemplate just how enormous the park truly is. Boasting a total area of 27,000 acres, Walt Disney World® Resort is officially the largest theme park in the world. Within its boundaries, the four theme parks cover approximately 950 acres, with the largest single theme park in the world, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, measuring in at 405 acres. There are also plans to expand some of the parks’ attractions.
On the other hand, Disneyland® Resort is a mere fraction of the size covering approximately 510 acres including the Downtown Disney district and the new 14 acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land built in Disney California Adventure. However, in addition to the three Disney hotels at the park, there are also many options for accommodation in the areas surrounding the park.
Number of Attractions
When it comes to Disney parks, bigger isn’t necessarily always better. Within its smaller size, the original Disneyland park offers the most in terms of attractions featuring over 60 rides, shows and exhibits as of 2019, more than any other Disney park. Disney California Adventure offers 37 attractions including some spectacular live shows such as Frozen, and the fan-favorite interactive ride, Toy Story Midway Mania!
Many of the attractions at Disneyland park holds a special place in the heart of Disney fans including the classic It’s a Small World dark ride, the Haunted Mansion, one of the first attractions built in the park, and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean, the original ride that spawned the incredibly successful movie franchise. In fact, although the Pirate of the Caribbean ride in Florida may be newer, many guests consider the original ride to be far superior with more jump scares, attention to detail and a longer ride length.
At Walt Disney World® Resort, you would be hard-pressed to find time to enjoy all the attractions on offer in a single visit, and because the four theme parks are spread out throughout the resort, it is recommended that guests plan for a longer stay.
The most popular park at Walt Disney World® Resort, The Magic Kingdom, took its inspiration from the original Disneyland park and features many of the same rides and attractions with 53 attractions across six different “lands” and plans to build an additional ride, Tron Lightcycle Power Run in Tomorrowland.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom, though the largest of the four parks, actually features the least number of attractions at 25. However, many of the rides are sprawling adventure rides such as Kilimanjaro Safaris through Harambe Wildlife Reserve and the immersive 3D adventure Na’ Vi River Journey located inside the World of Pandora, a mind-boggling alien world full of bioluminescent plants and animals.
Epcot’s space-age and Around-the-World themes mean that the attractions are constantly changing to accommodate new discoveries. Many of the attractions include live shows, food and wine exhibitions and musical performances, however there are a few rides and attractions that have stood the test of time and remain Disney fan-favorites such as the speedy Test Track, which allows guest to design and race their own vehicle, the centrifuge-based Mission: Space and of course, the iconic, Spaceship Earth located inside the unforgettable geodesic dome.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which celebrates Disney’s contribution to film and television, offers approximately 20 rides and shows across six different themed “lands”, the latest addition being Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Some of the attractions include the revamped Tower of Terror ride, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout and Toy Story Midway Mania! However, there are also a plethora of shows and exhibits featured at the many theatre venues located inside the park.
Number of Visitors per Year
Upon opening in 1955, Disneyland park offered guests a never-before-seen look inside the wonder and magic of Disney which attracted over a million guests in just the first seven weeks. Now, as of 2018, the original Disneyland park alone attracts over 18.5 million visitors per year, making it the second busiest theme park in the world. Disney California Resort, though not as popular as the original park sees 9.8 million visitors yearly, a number which may see a sharp increase with the addition of the new Star Wars land.
Disneyland park is surpassed only by Walt Disney World® Resort’s the Magic Kingdom which saw a staggering 22 million visitors pour through the gates in 2018. The third most popular park is Disney’s Animal Kingdom which saw close to 14 million visitors, a significant rise from previous years, thanks in part to some of the new immersive attractions available.
Epcot still remains as popular as ever and hosts a huge array of exhibitions throughout the year in addition to its regular attractions which attracted 12.5 million visitors in 2018. Disney’s Hollywood Studios follows close behind with 11.2 million visitors, which looks to increase this year with the new Star Wars attraction opening in 2019 simultaneously with Disney California Adventure.
Number of Characters Employed
For fans that love photo opportunities with their favorite Disney characters, Walt Disney World® Resort hires no less than 74,000 costumed characters spread across the various lands and performances within the parks. While Disneyland® Resort features only 22,000 cast members across the two parks, you are still bound to see all the classic and contemporary Disney characters that you love.
While Walt Disney World® Resort far surpasses Disneyland® Resort in terms of total size and attractions available, guests planning a visit to any of the Disney parks should consider what would be best for their vacation. For people planning a short stay, Disneyland® Resort offers the whimsy and nostalgia of the original Disneyland park and the modern magic of Disney California Adventure which are located only 400 feet apart allowing guests to move easily between the parks on Disney Park Hopper tickets and enjoy all the attractions on offer.
For an epic adventure that lasts beyond a couple of days, Walt Disney World® Resort offers some of the world’s biggest and best theme parks and water parks that guests can return to again and again with Disney Park Hopper Plus tickets to experience the best of Disney magic. Whichever Disney resort you choose, Disney has something for everyone. If you want to have a great experience, call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.
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